Lesson of the Day: ‘Cheating, Inc.: How Writing Papers for American College Students Has Become a Lucrative Profession Overseas’

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Lesson of the Day: ‘Cheating, Inc.: How Writing Papers for American College Students Has Become a Lucrative Profession Overseas’

4. How does contract cheating differ from plagiarism? How is plagiarism generally detected? Why is it more difficult to catch students who submit work that isn’t their own but which has been written for the assignment?

5. How is technology being used to detect contract cheating? What are the challenges to this undertaking? Where do you think this technology will be 10 years from now in terms of effectiveness? Why?

What are the ethical issues raised in the article?

The article discusses college graduates in Kenya who have been paid to write papers for American students. The article states:

In Kenya, a country with a per capita annual income of about $1,700, successful writers can earn as much as $2,000 a month, according to Roynorris Ndiritu, who said he has thrived while writing academic essays for others.

Roynorris Ndiritu, 28, who asked that only part of his name be used because he feared retribution from others in the industry in Kenya, graduated with a degree in civil engineering and still calls that his “passion.” But after years of applying unsuccessfully for jobs, he said, he began writing for others full time. He has earned enough to buy a car and a piece of land, he said, but it has left him jaded about the promises he heard when he was young about the opportunities that would come from studying hard in college.

“You can even get the highest level of education, and still, you might not get that job,” he said.

In interviews with people in Kenya who said they had worked in contract cheating, many said they did not view the practice as unethical.

Why do you think the people interviewed in Kenya about their work in contract cheating say they don’t find their actions to be unethical? Do you think it is unethical and, if so, why? If you don’t have an ethical objection to contract cheating, explain why.

Are those who sell their writing just trying to use their academic skills for financial gain, much like freelance writers? Is the lack of other job opportunities reason enough to justify writing papers for other students for money?

What about the essay buyers? Besides cheating, are they also exploiting the people in developing countries whom they are paying to do their writing? If so, in what way?